Gourd pyrography is a fading art, but one that deserve a return. Both beautiful and unique,
this skill is one for anyone with an interest in a drawing or burning.
| What is it?
|Gourd pyrography is done in the hallowed shell of fruits from a specific type of plants. These fruits come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and have been used in art for many years. Many art students will testify to drawing dried versions of these fruits in still life drawings. These fruits have been painted, and, of course, used in gourd pyrography.
Gourd pyrography projects can be hung from a ceiling, or decorate a desk or entertainment center.
Hallowed, these shells can make fragile vases or containers.
Some of these projects are even turned into beautiful bird houses.
| Where to Start:
- First things first, decide on the design you will be using on your gourd.
Pyrography is best done when planned out. When you know what you want to do, then go back and pick the shell that’s shape will best fit your ideas.
It is very difficult to find and purchase already dried fruits. Learning how to grow your own gourds from seeds, hollow the fruit, and dry them out will save you much time and frustration. There are a number of different gourd seeds, for various types and shapes of fruit, available within our online store. Also available there are many types of pyrography burners and kits. For more information on various burners, kits, tips, etc, view our Pyrography Tools page.
The burner or hot metal that you use to scorch the design into the shell will move smoother and create fewer mistakes if the skin has been sanded.
- Sanding the shell before you begin is an important step in gourd pyrography.
Like with wood burning, I suggest etching the design into the skin before you start - many of the same tools found in Leather Craft Kits can be used here as well. This gives the burner lines to follow, and mistakes in the gourd pyrography are less noticeable. Remember to practice with the tools before hand, as different tips and different heats will produce different thicknesses and styles of lines.
| Adding Color & Finishing:
Gourd pyrography, similar to wood or leather burning, can be done with color. Painting or applying colored pencil to the skin and scorching over the color will permanently burn the color into the project.
To give that last touch to the project, find a nice stain or polish that will accentuate the natural color of the fruit. If you plan on using color in your gourd pyrography, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind. The first is not to use a wax based colored pencil or paint. Wax bubbles when heated, which is usually not the result that you are looking for.
Warning: Also, check the labels of any paints that you use to make sure that they do not contain chemicals that are toxic when burned. Regardless, always stay in well ventilated areas when practicing gourd pyrography.